We now print bag, sleeve and box labels in advance in our preparation office by a data person. Now, we want to print these labels on-line to save time and do it all in one step to prevent errors.
We want to print on-line with the same label printer: 1 bag label for every 10 cards, we want to print 2 sleeve labels for every 100 cards, and we want to print 4 pallet labels for every 1,000 cards. Next job might be 20 cards per bag and 2 labels, but it follows the same principle.
How do we do that with your system?
The GT controller allows printing labels on-line. This was developed for the newspaper industry (the newspapers need a topsheet label per stack of newspapers, a sack label per sack where they put the stacks in, and 4 pallet labels per pallet where they throw the sacks on) which has no time to prepare labels in advance and wants to deliver the final data as close to the production begin as possible.
For the USA, we suggest to buy the US-made Datamax printers that have a defined protocol called DPL for Datamax Programming Language. We don’t sell these printers and supplies, we just sell a software integrated into the GT controller (PN 83080, Label Printing Software).
The I-series seem to work all right for most applications. You need to know what size of labels you want to print at what speed and what supply (thermo paper, carbon paper). That will determine the kind of Datamax you have to buy. They come with built-in paper cutters and many things more. Check with Datamax.
We send data to be printed to the Datamax printers through a serial interface, which come standard with those printers. Thus, you need a Dflex port available in the controller and you connect a serial cable between the port and the back of the printer. Simply connect pins 2, 3, and 7 from the DB25 serial connector on the DFLEX card to pins 2, 3, and 7 on the back of the printer. The maximum cable length depends on the selected baudrate 9’600 baud 20 meters or 60 feet, 19’200 10 meters or 30 feet. Or buy an extender.
Connector needed on dflex Connector needed on Printer side
DB25 female (Xon/Xoff) DB25 male
2 —————————————– 3 Rd (notice cross over)
3 —————————————- 2 Td
7 —————————————- 7 GND
Or check printer manual “Serial Interface Cable Listing” page 15. Make sure to select mode in the configuration of the printer in the controller (software control Xon/Xoff or hardware).
The GT controller needs a special file that contains the data to be printed on every bag, every sleeve, and every pallet. This file must be linked to the main card file.
Obviously, since we are printing with the same printer, all labels will be of the same size.
The main card file is a flat file with fixed sized record, stored in D:\EditorGT\data\address (say name is job123.record) and may look like (this example contains only minimum data, more printable fields can be added at will):
Card # Bag # Sle.# Pal.# Pin #
0000001 00001 0001 001 42317465127
0000002 00001 0001 001 42332436523
0000009 00001 0001 001 42317432124
0000010 00001 0001 001 42317463464 (bag# change !)
0000011 00002 0001 001 42317577875
0000099 00010 0001 001 42311345155
0000100 00010 0001 001 42316586575 (sleeve # change)
0000101 00011 0002 001 42379769876
0000999 00100 0010 001 34124436732
0001000 00100 0011 002 45754754343 (pallet # change)
0001001 00101 0011 002 45754754343
Thus, while a file to just print the cards does not need a bag, sleeve, or pallet number, one is needed if you want to print labels associated to the data records. The reference the number of the respective bag, sleeve or pallet. When this number changes by one, the corresponding data is searched for in the corresponding bag, sleeve, or pallet file.
Following the same pattern, the bag number file is a flat file with fixed size record, stored in D:\EditorGT\data\topsheet (say name is job123.bag, make it the same name until “.” For better reference):
Bag # Card From Card to Other text
00001 0000001 0000010 Job123
00002 0000011 0000020 Job123
00101 0000101 0000110 Job123
For every label, you can define how many copies you want. You can also reprint a copy on-line in case the label got damaged.
The bag data looks like:
The layout looks like (see how it references to Data):
Following the same pattern, the sleeve number file is a flat file with fixed size record, stored in D:\EditorGT\data\sack (say name is job123.sleeve, make it the same name until “.” For better reference):
Sleeve# Card From Card to Barcode or text
0001 0000001 0000100 1234567890
0002 0000101 0000200 1234567890
0010 0000901 0001000 123456789
Following the same pattern, the pallet number file is a flat file with fixed size record, stored in D:\EditorGT\data\pallet (say name is job123.pallet, make it the same name until “.” For better reference):
Pallet# Card From Card to Barcode or text
001 0000001 0001000 Deliver to Walmart
002 0001001 0002000 Deliver to Walmart
010 0009001 0010000 Deliver to Target
The GT controller will print with inkjet one record after the other. In the moment Product #10 reaches the end of the machine, it will print once the first bag label.
When Product #100 reaches the end of the machine, the controller will print the bag label #10 and also the sleeve label #1.
And so forth.